The Chemical Educator, Vol. 7, No. 1, S1430-4171(02)01535-9, 10.1007/s00897020535a, © 2002 Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.

Rheology for Chemists—an Introduction. By J. W. Goodwin and R. W. Hughes, Royal Society of Chemistry: Cambridge, August 2000. £27.50, x + 290 pp. ISBN: 085404-616-X.

Adrian Rennie, Chemistry Department, King’s College, London,

Flow of materials is important in many practical applications. Preparation and processing of many products will rely on pumping or mixing at some stage. The end use of coatings, pastes, and foods depends crucially on the response to stress as well as the texture and deformation that results from shear. It is surprising that given the significance of these properties, there is generally rather little training of chemists in this topic of rheology. Many scientists involved in either the synthesis or the formulation of these materials can benefit from understanding the principles of this subject. This audience is addressed by the book of Goodwin and Hughes.

The field of rheology is rightly attracting increased interest in recent years. Many engineers are involved in this work as it is concerned with chemical processes or mechanical properties of products. In general the chemists who approach this area have a different background, with less formal mathematical training. This book describes the phenomena of rheology without the formalism of vectors or tensors. Calculus is used, but at a simple level. However, I should not give the impression that this book avoids quantification or analysis. There are about 600 equations spread through the six chapters. Indeed some readers might get the first impression that the book is using a lot of mathematics. Actually, the large number of equations arises because in most cases any derivation is shown carefully, step-by-step. This approach should make the results accessible to students with little experience in the manipulation of equations. It also makes the text well-suited for self-study by research workers and technologists, who, confronted with technical problems in this area, would like a straightforward introduction to the subject of rheology.

The book is well structured and leads the reader from a series of definitions and the use of dimensionless groups such as the Deborah number, Peclet number, and Reynolds number in the first chapter, to ideas of viscoelasticity in the fourth and fifth chapters. The second and third chapters provide a description of a variety of different materials with elastic and viscous properties.

The authors of this book are well known for their own research on rheology. Their work has concentrated on problems related to colloids, and this is reflected in the examples and data that illustrate the text. The book places considerable emphasis on this area of soft condensed matter. The description of the rheology of colloids clearly shows the extensive experience of the authors in teaching this subject. The book provides rather more background information on structure and interaction of colloidal particles than microscopic interpretation of polymer properties.

There are relatively few typographical errors for a book in its first edition. The figures are generally clear, although some of the line drawings are not quite sharp.